‘All clear’ given in 2nd Atlanta suspicious package

An unattended package in the lobby of a post office in Atlanta turned out to be just a misplaced and not dangerous, but not before the building had to be cleared.

Atlanta police said the post office on Hosea Williams Drive had to be evacuated as the package was investigated. Once the package was found to be safe, people were allowed to return. The incident was the second suspicious package call of the day for city bomb technicians.

Streets surrounding Underground Atlanta were shut down for several hours Tuesday morning as police investigated the day’s first suspicious package, which turned out to be harmless.

About 4 a.m., police dispatchers got a call from Banks County authorities in reference to a man wanted for “some domestic violence issues in Banks County and warrants for a larceny related to that incident,” Atlanta police Sgt. Greg Lyon said. “They tracked him to this area and told us he was driving one of two vehicles.”

One of the vehicles, a white Chevrolet Tahoe, was located on Pryor Street by a Zone 5 officer, and the man wanted by Banks County was inside the SUV, according to Lyon.

The man was detained, and while officers were checking the vehicle, “they discovered a device they thought was suspicious,” Lyon told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was a package with some wires sticking out of it.”

The bomb squad was called to the scene, and after investigating the package, determined it was not a threat.

“There was not any type of bomb device inside the vehicle at all,” Lyon said. “Just a couple of suitcases with miscellaneous items in them.”

Police blocked streets in the area for several hours, but were reopened around 9 a.m.

Only a few hours later, bomb technicians were dispatched to a post office on Hosea Williams Drive to examine another suspicious package.

Lyon said the post office was evacuated about noon after an unattended package was found in the lobby. Hosea Williams Drive was also shut down near Howard Street, according to Lyon.

The Banks County Sheriff’s Office said the man involved in the incident near Underground, Chester Thomas Akins, 45, of Homer, was charged with three counts of criminal damage to property under the Family Violence Act and one count of theft by taking in connection with an incident Sunday at his home.

During that incident, Akins allegedly told his girlfriend a bomb had been placed in their home, and the GBI bomb squad and Hall County bomb detection K-9 team responded and cleared the area.

Staff writer Michelle E. Shaw contributed to this article.

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